Day At The Track

Spain leads after first night of World Cup

06:17 AM 26 Feb 2020 NZDT
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Glide In The Wind, harness racing
Glide in the Wind captured his division of the World Cup Amateur Championship for driver Joe Pennacchio .
Dee Leftwich photo

Pompano Beach,  FL In a spirited and highly competitive first round of the World Cup Amateur Driving Championship, Spain emerged with the lead — although precarious — without winning any of the four Monday night (Feb. 24) harness racing contests.

Spain’s Miquel Vich Capo finished second, fifth and third in his trio of drives and his consistently high finishes garnered him enough points to top the leaderboard for the time being.

With four more events scheduled for the final night on Tuesday, Switzerland, represented by Barbara Aebischer, is second while there are three countries tied for third — USA, New Zealand and Belgium — all within striking distance to take home the crown. Canada and Italy are also still in the hunt.

Aebischer opened the ceremonies with a sterling win in the first event by giving a superb drive back of Tech Titan, trained by Dan McCartney for owner Lee Clarke. The 7-year-old gelded son of Muscle Hill was making his first start over Pompano Park’s five-eighths-mile oval and Aebischer bided her time as Cashahallic, driven by the USA’s Joe Pennacchio, carved up the panels and led until the field straightened away for the wire.

Both Mego Moss (Warren Rich, New Zealand) and Kaffir Kemp (Lukas Svedin, Sweden) loomed boldly but neither could collar the leader as both Tech Titan and Citi Z Tam (Miquel Vich Capo, Spain) were closing stoutly.

At the wire, Tech Titan had a 2-1/4 length margin over Citi Z Tam and returned $7.40 as the second choice in the betting. The mile was clocked in 1:58.2.

The second event went to Italy’s Andrea Sallustio, who gave the Chet Poole Jr. trained, Johanna Calvert owned Little Big Rigs a “heads-up drive” to score in 1:59.2.

Off at a generous 19-1, Little Big Rigs, a 6-year-old altered son of Big Rigs, showed solid speed off the wings from the outside post to settle up into fourth early before sitting chilly the rest of the way before accelerating late in the lane to score by a length for his first win of the year.

Legend Field, with Belgium’s Piet Van Pollaert in his bike, got a garden journey, took command in the stretch but was out-kicked late by the winner. Skyway Jaguar, also trained by Poole and owned by Johanna Calvert, made a miscue or two early, spotted the field many lengths but closed fastest of all to finish third for Leonardo Agusti of Argentina.

The winner paid $40.80.

The USA’s Joe Pennacchio hit the winner’s circle in the next race, giving trainer Wally Hennessey’s Glide In The Wind a picture perfect drive to score in 1:57.2. It was the initial win of the year for the 5-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide prompting one happy fan to say, “Who needs Wally Hennessey when you can get Joe Pennacchio in the bike!”

Pembroke Yoyo cut the mustard for Piet Van Pollaert and finished second over Fleet Cessna, with Andrea Fazekas, representing Hungary, in the sulky.

Glide In The Wind rewarded his many faithful with a $4.20 mutuel.

The final Monday night event went Canada’s way as Jurgen Hanover, driven by David Drew, came from dead last turning for home to score by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:58.3.

This race turned out to be the most competitive of the night as there were four in and four out the entire route with the action on the backstretch reminiscent of the Prix d’Amerique in Europe. Drew had no choice but to bide his time through it all as he started from the outside post and was forced to take back as the others scrambled for superiority.

In deep stretch, Jurgen Hanover, without much urging, rolled on by to score his 25th career win and fourth this semester in only five starts. Trained by Gaston Lareau for the JP Houle Stables, Jurgen Hanover paid $10.00 as the third choice.

The World Cup Amateur Championship continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover and a ballooning Super Hi -5 Jackpot now standing at $32,217.

Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

by John Berry, for Pompano Park


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